Category Archives: News

On the corruption of Trump

I did not compile this myself, but here are some links to stories, many in the form of tweet threads with links to other stories, by journalists and others who are documenting the current web of corruption and conspiracy.

1. John Schindler aka @20committee. Former National Security guy, convervative, but realpolitik. Also loves cats.
Start here and scroll back to read up to present:
2. Megathread summary of pre-election conspiracy by Seth Abramson, poet, English professor, but also reporter.Start with the first tweet, and read the numbered tweets that follow, with links to articles. There are at least 40 tweets:
3. Louise Mensch, former Tory member of parliament, journalist, also conservative, but doing great reporting on the campaign collusion with Putin:
4. Article on why calling your reps matters:
5. The Moscow Project. Crowd-sourcing the Steele dossier (British intelligence agent who pulled together a dossier on Trump and Russian connections that was reported on last year, but published by Buzzfeed in January):
6. Khanoisseur Adam Khan is exclelent at following the money, Russion money, Chinese money, etc. See these twitter threads:
On oil:
Putin, Assad, European refugee crisis:
7. Sarah Kendizior, has done a lot of work in Uzbekistan.
on cast of characters:
On autocracy:
Who are “these people””
8. Andrea Chalupa on Putin and Syria:
9. Legendary hacker:
10. Timothy O’Brien on Trump crony Felix Sater, money laundering, real estate, influence peddling:
11. Putin’s most recent assassinations:
and attempts to influence other countries:
12. Washington Post calls for Nunes to be investigated:
13. Other GOP politician in Iowa who came out against Trumpcare:

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Good prose

I discovered a blog with really good writing and then realized it is, in addition, from New Orleans. I am serious that this person can write and is more interesting than many writers who are packaged and famous.


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Bad poetry

Here is a bad poem or at least, one I dislike. I read it while reading an interesting book review that shows precisely why everyone is fatigued with the Democratic Party, in the same magazine with a yet more interesting book review on Hitler, characterized as a warning from history. This was the title of an important BBC series on the second world war made in the late 90s, that is apparently being rebroadcast now.

I am of course fascinated with the Shoah since I find my Polish and Lithuanian cousins in its databases. I have seen Night will fall, a documentary about a documentary that has been finished at last. This second film is very beautifully photographed, strange though that may seem to say. But the cameramen were artists and I think they had good film and equipment.

Meanwhile, it seems that the FBI sat on the Trump-Russia file for months. But at least there is such a thing as Radio Cómeme — which offers better poetry than does (necessarily) Sharon Olds.



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I think we really are going into some form of nazism, and should study it.

BBC: A warning from history I … II … and there are more parts to the series. It is from the 1990s but is being rebroadcast now. The BBC has an episode guide and my interest is in the question of how the Nazi takeover started. There is a new book on Hitler as well, that looks very good.

One thing to note is that Hitler himself, like the man who would now be dictator in the United States, was indolent. The work was done by others, in a chaotic atmosphere. Hitler did not have plans, but would make remarks. Then people would take up projects, saying they were the will of the Führer.

But Wallerstein says we are not necessarily going into some form of nazism. He writes:

…[E]stamos en medio de una transición histórica estructural del mundo-sistema capitalista en que hemos vivido por unos 500 años a uno de dos sistemas sucesores –un sistema no capitalista que conserve los peores rasgos del capitalismo (jerarquía, explotación y polarización), y su opuesto, un sistema que sea relativamente democrático e igualitario.

I am assuming the repressive path will be taken before the utopian one is, but perhaps not. And this on Trump and Foucault is worth reading, too.


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Comments on me this week

Interlibrary librarian: I remember your name because you have such a happy persona.

(What I thought: You see me when I have actually ordered books, and they have arrived, and I have gotten myself here to pick them up. In addition you are my favorite office at this university, and I am very pleased you exist. For all of these reasons you always see me in states of delight.)

Colleague: Todos saben que a ti no te pisa nadie.

(What I thought: That is very interesting since from my point of view, my whole project in life is to become more calmly assertive on my own behalf.)


French immersion teacher: You are in Spanish at the university? … I see you love that!

(What I thought: I don’t think I do. But it is the second time in these last weeks that someone has said it.)

Girl I danced with: I like this, you are giving it to me straight … I mean, you know how to dance.

(What I thought: And now, grace and physical ease? Following on love, assertiveness, happiness … all the qualities I consider myself to lack? Mais il arrive quoi, donc?)

I think of myself as pensive and introverted but perhaps I am not.


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More news from home

The UN on the Ayotzinapa case.
Francisco Goldman’s discussion of this case in English.
A Louisiana legislative candidate in blackface.
The police work for McDonald’s.
Fact and feeling have the same weight.
Lateral governance.

Dear Z:

          Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me about President Trump’s nomination of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of the United States Department of Education.

Let me start by saying this: I believe steadfastly in our public schools.  I’m a product of Louisiana public schools.  I graduated from Zachary High School, and I’m proud of it.  My teachers there prepared me to compete in college and law school with just about anyone.  I’ve also been a volunteer substitute teacher in Louisiana public schools for the last thirteen years.  There’s not a single, solitary politician in the State of Louisiana who has been in our public schools more than I have in the past thirteen years.

I also want you to know that I do not believe that the United States Constitution grants the federal government control over our public schools.  In my opinion, our Constitution leaves public education and policy about it to state and local governments.  I think that is sound policy, and our founding fathers knew what they were doing.  The last thing, in my opinion, our educators need is another U.S. Department of Education trying to impose top-down, one-size-fits-all federal standards on local schools and telling our local officials and teachers how to run their classrooms.  Betsy DeVos agrees with me.

The United States Senate has voted to confirm President Trump’s nominee, Mrs. DeVos, to be the Secretary of the Department of Education.  I voted for her.  I do not believe for a second that she opposes public education.  On the contrary, I believe she supports it enthusiastically and with conviction.  She also supports giving parents a choice in how to educate their children, whether that choice is a public school, charter school, private school or home schooling.  She is right, in my opinion.  Her support for empowering parents to make the right choice for their children in no way undermines her passion and support for public education.

Public education has improved in the last few years, but we’re still behind.  That’s one of the things that keeps me awake at night, because I don’t believe that any parent should be forced to send his or her child to a failing school.  I know we can do better.  Americans can unravel the human genome.  We can take a diseased human heart, replace it with a new one and make it beat. We can send a person to the moon.  But we can’t seem to teach our children how to read and write at acceptable levels when we have eighteen years to do it.  We can and must do better.

You may not agree with my vote in favor of Mrs. DeVos.  But never doubt my commitment to public education.  If Secretary DeVos turns out not to be a supporter of public education, I will be the first to criticize her and call for her to step down.  However, I do not believe I will have to do that. Thanks again for writing.

United States Senator


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On the United States

My neighborhood has a Facebook group where, mostly, people ask for handyman advice and offer fresh eggs for sale. Today it had an argument about whether or not it were racist to be reporting, to this group, when Black teenagers are walking down the street. Most of those who participated thought it was a good thing to do, “to keep us safe,” and when some started arguing back the thread was deleted. I think it was deleted because the rational people were clearly a minority and the thread made the neighborhood look bad.


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